CICS MC 3598
Updated: Jan 5
March 3, 2020
TO : All Clearing Banks/Institutions
RE : PROPER USE OF RETURN REASON CODE ‘Q’ (MISMATCHED IMAGE AND DATA)
1. We have been receiving reports from some of our participant banks regarding client complaints in connection
with the delays in clearing of Checks due to dishonor by drawee banks citing “Mismatched Image and Data” as the
return reason. It has accordingly posed a challenge for depository banks to explain to their respective clients as
the mismatches mostly emanated from machine misreads on the MICR code line.
2. To validate, we ran some statistics and sought explanation from a number of drawee banks. Based on our findings,
the return reason “Mismatched Image and Data” (Return Reason Code Q) is being used to dishonor checks due to
either truncated, transposed or misread characters in the serial number, account number, or transaction code in
the MICR code line.
3. To clarify and for uniformity of interpretation, the Return Reason “Mismatched Image and Data” (Return Reason
Code Q) can be cited for non-payment if, and only if, the Check Image and the MICR Code Line show more than
one mismatched information covering, for instance the following details:
a) serial and account number of Drawer; or
b) serial number of the Check and BRSTN of the Drawee Bank ; or
c) BRSTN of the Drawee Bank and account number of the Drawer ; or
d) serial number of the Check, BRSTN of the Drawee Bank and account number of Drawer.
4. If only one (1) information in the Check Image is dissimilar to the corresponding information in the MICR Code
line (which could be caused by or attributable to truncated or transposed or misread character/s in the serial
number, account number, or transaction code in the MICR code line), the clearing item should not be considered
as one with Mismatched Image and Data (within the context of Section
18.1 of the CICS RR) so that the Drawee Bank cannot in such a situation, validly cite the Return Reason
“Mismatched Image and Data” (Return Reason Code Q) as basis to dishonor or return the clearing item .
Instead of returning the clearing item, the Drawee Bank should honor the item and rectify the misread/miscoded
data based on the Check Image.
5. The Drawee Bank, however, is entitled to collect the applicable penalty charge from the Presenting Bank for Errors
and Omissions in the Electronic Payment Information (EPI), as provided in Section 5 of the Guidelines/Procedure
on Settlement of Clearing Discrepancies under the CICS (Attachment to CICS OM No.17-008, Section 5)
6. In this regard, we strongly advise the Presenting Banks to consistently practice good maintenance of their
respective front-end scanners to gain optimal performance. This will ensure that capture of the MICR line would
be reliable and not prone to misreads.
7. We count on everyone’s compliance/cooperation. Any willful violation shall be reported to the PCHC Board for